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Benepeeps in the Big Apple: A Recap of Our 2023 Q2 On-Site

How we spent a week in New York City bonding as a team and solidifying our future goals

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At Benepass, on-sites are an important part of our culture—we love the flexibility and diversity that remote work affords us, but we also value the connection that comes from spending in-person time together. We gather every quarter to reflect on our accomplishments, set audacious goals, and bond as a team. 

For our recent Q2 on-site, 36 Benepeeps from 22 cities traveled to New York City. Here’s how we spent the week.  

Benepass NYC on-site

Warm-up activities

We started each day with a short warm-up activity to build excitement for the day’s events and get to know each other better. The activities often incorporate fun facts about our coworkers or company facts. This quarter, our warm-up activities included the Fishbowl Game and Marshmallow Challenge. 

State of the Beneunion

Day 1 of every on-site kicks off with a “State of the Beneunion” from our CEO Jaclyn Chen, which allows us to reflect on our growth and align on future priorities. This on-site, Jaclyn discussed our recent wins and long-term vision. 

Product session

After our warm-up activity on Day 2, we gathered for a presentation on our product vision and roadmap. Co-Founder and Head of Product Mark Fischer started by discussing our progress. We’ve recently launched projects like Integrations, Platform Funding, and a redesign of our mobile app and web portal to improve the user experience for admins and employees. 

He also shared the exciting new features included in our upcoming roadmap and gave an overview of our product vision, plus how we plan to leverage technologies like AI to increase efficiency and unlock new product capabilities. 

Team day sessions

Our on-sites allow our functional teams to brainstorm and tackle big projects together. The schedule included dedicated time for our teams to work on big-picture projects and special activities that are more challenging to find time for in a remote environment. We understand that certain work benefits from in-person collaboration, and our quarterly on-sites are an excellent opportunity for that. 

Working Values exercise

Day 3 included a Working Values session with Gradient Leadership Coach Laura Simon intended to help us understand our personal values and how they impact our working styles and relationships. Laura walked us through various prompts designed to uncover our top values, and then we shared the results with our functional teams to learn more about each other and how we could work better together. Some of the top values company-wide were empathy, curiosity, creativity, authenticity, accountability, discipline, and connection.  

Top 5 working values

Small group dinners

Each on-site includes randomized small group dinners of around 6 people. The dinners allow us to connect with colleagues we don’t work closely with on a regular basis, which is important for our overall company culture and effective cross-functional collaboration. 

Small group dinners

Local activities

Seek joy is one of our Benepass company values, and we definitely prioritize it at our quarterly on-sites. Along with visiting local restaurants, we plan activities that allow us to sightsee while spending quality time together. At our Chicago on-site, we enjoyed an architecture boat tour. In Austin, we played pickleball and explored Ladybird Lake. In Boulder, we went on a hike and explored the downtown area. In NYC, we braved the rain for a Statue of Liberty boat tour. 

Statue of Liberty boat tour

Values and reflections

Throughout the week, we write down examples of our colleagues living out our company values during the on-site activities. We discuss these examples on the last day of the on-site to reflect on the week and highlight how we each contribute to the Benepass culture. We also complete a Rose Bud Thorn exercise following the on-site to share our takeaways from the week and provide feedback on how we can improve future events. 

What’s next for our team

The on-sites always leave us energized and motivated to work hard on our goals for the next quarter. The in-person bonding and connection are incredibly valuable to our ability to work efficiently and build a strong culture in a remote environment. 

Here’s what our team had to say about this quarter’s on-site: 

  • “The on-site in its entirety, being my first one, was so special to me! But specifically the small group dinners. This gave me a chance to connect with people outside of my team!”
  • “The people make the time together stand out, so thank you everyone for the great positive energy and for hanging out all week!”
  • “I really enjoy all of the in-person time to get to know people on a deeper level and build those relationships.”
  • “All the presentations were very insightful; it made me extremely excited about where we're at as a company and where we’re looking to go!”
  • “I enjoyed the values session and hearing people identify what matters to them. I think knowing yourself allows others to know you better because you can be clearer on what matters to you.”
  • “Hearing everyone’s working values was such a great exercise and is something that will continue to help teams grow together.”
  • “The on-sites always give me a boost. They’re like refreshing reminders of why we’re all here, putting in the work—both as individuals and as a team. Excited for this quarter.”

Learn more about the Benepass culture, and connect with us on LinkedIn to see team updates from our future on-sites.

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Rachel Smedley

Chief of Staff

Rachel Smedley is Chief of Staff at Benepass. She has 5 years of experience growing business operations at startups. When she's not building at Benepass, you'll find her riding her bike or reading The Atlantic in Prospect Park.

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